10 things in tech you need to know today

Facebook’s Portal device. Facebook Portal/Facebook

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

  1. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave an unconvincing speech to a conference in Munich about privacy, just at the point she needs to sound sincere for regulators.Sandberg talked about how Facebook needed to do better, and its commitment to stopping election interference and abuse, but audience members described her comments as rehearsed.
  2. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei warned of job losses thanks to global fears about the firm’s equipment. “We have to prepare for times of hardship,” Ren told staffers in an email.
  3. Uber is hiring a team that will work on autonomous scooters and bikes, with the vehicles able to drive themselves to a charging point. The division will live within Uber’s JUMP bikes team.
  4. Insiders say that Google’s new cloud boss is likely to make some very large acquisitions. Former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian takes over as CEO of Google Cloud this month, and rumours have spread about a possible Atlassian acquisition.
  5. Facebook has endowed a new AI ethics institute in Germany, the first time it has set up such an organisation. The new centre will be funded by Facebook with $US7.5 million over the next five years.
  6. Google Maps is set to roll out speed camera and speed limit features. The app will display visual icons showing any nearby speed traps and the road’s speed limit, as well as give audio warnings to drivers.
  7. Disney is already losing $US1 billion to streaming, thanks to its stakes in Hulu and ownership of BAMTech. The company hasn’t even launched its Netflix competitor Disney+ yet.
  8. Human rights protesters stood outside Google offices around the world on Friday, recruiting employees to help kill off its China search engine. The groups fear a censored search engine would be used to further propaganda and oppress dissent.
  9. UiPath, an artificial intelligence company backed by Google and Sequoia, will soon hit $US200 million annual recurring revenue, sources told Business Insider. The company, which is backed by Accel, CapitalG and Sequoia, was last valued at $US3 billion in a September funding round.
  10. Facebook employees were caught writing 5-star reviews for its Portal device on Amazon, and now they must take them down. Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, who heads up Facebook’s augmented-reality and virtual-reality divisions, said in a tweet that employees had not been instructed to leave good reviews.

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